** Note: this is an old update from November 2018 **
Dear Climbing Community,
As you know, CMRCA has been working hard over the past two months to find a solution to provide climbing access to Crazy Horse. We have been working closely with the Mae On and Provincial Governments. CMRCA founders Kat and Josh Morris have been meeting regularly with representatives of the community, the Mae On government and the Provincial government to discuss the way forward.
The details of the access issue at Crazy Horse are as follows:
The climbing area is under a criminal investigation (in a case between the Mae-on district office and the Baan Sahakorn 2 Sub-district office). Access to Crazy Horse has been suspended due to the unfinished status of the criminal investigation. Therefore climbers or travelers climbing at Crazy Horse are considered to be trespassing against the government and disrespecting the office of the government.
Based on this information and our discussions with all parties involved, we have been asked to inform and advise the climbing community to avoid climbing at Crazy Horse Buttress and other climbing areas in Northern Thailand so that we can follow the appropriate steps to regain legal access at Crazy Horse and other areas and avoid problems in the future.
It is important that the community respects the request of the governor’s office. For example, if climbers choose to continue to climb at Crazy Horse and have an accident that results in using emergency services in the area (such as an ambulance, hospital), the Village Head of Ban Sahakorn will be held responsible by the government and will face severe penalties. Therefore we ask for everyone’s cooperation.
We are happy to say that the Mae On community in the process of formally requesting access to manage the Crazy Horse area and has submitted an application to the district, provincial and national government offices responsible for land management. CMRCA is working closely with the Mae On community to advise and support in this process. This is a great step forward and will secure climbing access at Crazy Horse for the foreseeable future and will create a model that other climbing areas in Thailand can use to secure long term climbing access.
At the same time, it is expected that this application process will take more time than is desired and we expect the climbing area to remain closed for the next few months and possibly longer. The governor himself has requested that Crazy Horse stay closed so as not to disrupt the application of the community which could create additional delays to opening access. We realize this severely impacts many users of the area including local suppliers of food and accommodation, travelers with plans to visit Chiang Mai, climbing guides whose work has been affected, and even CMRCA.
At our most recent meeting, we were informed that according to Thai Land Law, private companies cannot rent this land. So CMRCA has made the decision to offer all of the assets, buildings, and investments during the last 15 years at Crazy Horse Buttress to the Mae On community. All government officers concerned in this matter have acknowledged our offer.
As part of our effort to assist with the application process, we have created a survey of usage of Crazy Horse by traveling and independent climbers. We would like to ask your support in filling out this survey so that we can have better data about the behavior of climbers while visiting Chiang Mai, Mae On and Crazy Horse. Please also share this survey with as many people as you can who you know have visited Crazy Horse for climbing. The data from this survey will be used to build a stronger case for maintaining climbing access in the Mae On area as well as the rest of Thailand. We thank you in advance for your participation in the survey.Crazy Horse Survey
As indicated above, we continue to recommend that climbers do not currently climb in areas in Northern Thailand. This is to ensure a smooth process as we continue to work with the Mae On community and the local and provincial government to secure access to climb not just at Crazy Horse but at other areas in Thailand as well.
As we develop a more clear picture of the timeline for all the areas in Northern Thailand, we will update the community. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through this process. Please stay tuned for future updates.
Kat and Josh Morris